Veterans Stories

By Michelle Kosinski, NBC News correspondent

A group called Americans for Veterans had gathered carpenters and enlisted Commodore Builders to donate time and materials for some serious fixing-up around here. They are replacing all of his windows, and will paint this beautiful old home come springtime. Many are veterans themselves. One young man, looking barely out of his teens, had already served three tours in Iraq. He called his link to the older vets “an unspoken bond.” John had fought for our very freedom, they all agreed.

New Veterans Hit Hard by Economic Crisis

The New York Times

After a mortar sent Andrew Spurlock hurtling off a roof in Iraq, ending his Army career in 2006, the seasoned infantryman set aside bitterness over his back injury and began to chart his life in storybook fashion: a new house, a job as a police officer and more children.

Andrew Spurlock, cleaning his daughter Aaliyah’s hand in their kitchen in Longwood, Fla., has had trouble finding a job after he returned from duty in Iraq.

“We had a budget and a plan,” said Mr. Spurlock, 29, a father of three, who with his wife, Michelle, hoped to avoid the pitfalls of his transition from Ramadi, Iraq, to Apopka, Fla.

But the move proved treacherous, as it often does for veterans. The job with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office fell through after officials there told Mr. Spurlock that he needed to “decompress” after two combat tours, a judgment that took him by surprise. Scrambling, he settled for a job delivering pizzas.

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